I would like to introduce you to
this beautiful gem, Fatima. My heart sank as we walked into this unofficial living site for Syrian Bedouin families, the place Fatima has called home over the past years. The people are completely exposed to the harshness of the environment, the heat, the scorpions, the snakes. My first instinct was to ask myself, “who is present to protect these beautiful people?”.
No one. Unlike Greece, there is no host NGO, no police, and no military presence at the living site. Dozens of children approached us to shower us in a warm, loving welcome. The people’s faces lit up with smiles as we walked through their home.
I will hold the memory of the next minutes in my heart forever. Fatima was scooting around on her knees as her thin, yet strong mother scooped her onto her back. The residents of the camp circled around this young woman. The Syrians cheered her on, chanting “Fatima, Fatima, Fatima!”. The love that was shared with them warmed my heart, forming a special connection and admiration.
Tears strolled down my cheeks as this young woman and her mother were embraced by their community. I couldn’t help but think about the challenges of raising her daughter in these living conditions. My mind raced back to the adults with developmental disabilities my family serves back in America. Caring for them isn’t easy with all of the Western comforts and readily available medical access, how is this woman managing here??
Fatima and her mother both had huge smiles on during the rest of our time in the unofficial camp. Her mother carried her on her back as we walked around and met other families. They taught me about resilience, about finding joy in times of darkness, about the power of love and support from community.
This memory plays back in my mind day after day. If you feel inspired, please help us to support the people living in this camp with our sustainable goat distribution project.